We are a communications firm with capitol intelligence and media impact in Chicago and beyond.

Rikeesha Phelon developed her strategic skill set through senior communications positions in nonprofit management, governmental leadership and political campaigns.

Setting the foundation for her career, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political studies and her master's in communications from the University of Illinois at Springfield. During that time she worked as a graduate assistant at Illinois Issues magazine.

Phelon sharpened her messaging expertise as a nonprofit media director, a public information officer for the Illinois Department of Human Services, and later as senior communications manager for all Illinois agency media relations.

In 2009, she became the press secretary to President John Cullerton as the nation turned its attention to the Illinois Senate for the impeachment trial of Rod Blagojevich. Since that time, she has distinguished herself as a trusted adviser to the Senate President and some of Illinois ' most powerful leaders advancing solutions to critical issues.

During the 2014 Illinois Governor's race, Phelon served as a campaign spokesperson and consultant for the Democratic Governors Association. She later returned to the Senate to round out seven years as a press secretary.

Phelon now partners with issue coalitions, corporations and nonprofits to execute strategies that engage audiences, inspire action and create change.


Phelon Public Strategies is a communications consultancy that engages audiences, inspires action and creates change. We partner with clients to execute strategies that elevate their brand and amplify their voice.


With state capitol intelligence and media relationships in Chicago and beyond, Phelon Public Strategies is uniquely positioned to promote leadership profiles, advance policy goals, produce media events and win issue campaigns.


Media Relations
Event Production
Public Participation
Reputation Management
Message Training

Company News

Capitol Fax
Rich Miller
January 13, 2016

"Cullerton’s press secretary Rikeesha Phelon is also leaving for the private sector and starting her own communications business, Phelon Public Strategies.

She was hired by Cullerton immediately after his election as Senate President. Phelon left staff briefly in 2014 to serve as campaign spokesperson and consultant for the Democratic Governors Association and then returned to Cullerton’s staff after the election.

Phelon is about as sharp as a human can get. And despite their obvious and ongoing partisan differences, quite a lot of Republicans (including in the governor’s office) admit mad respect for her skills. She’ll go very far."

Chicago Tribune
Morning Spin
January 14, 2016

"...Cullerton, in turn, took to the microphone to note the departure of his spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon, who is leaving state government to start a consulting firm. 'She’s the one who says the things I need to say, but says them better than I do,' said Cullerton...."

Springfield Journal Register
Bernard Schoenburg
January 14, 2016

“Cullerton, on the Senate floor Wednesday, said Phelon 'is and always has been a true professional who has represented this chamber and this office with the highest standards of integrity.’”

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Phelon Public Strategies
Phone: 217-671-1970